UPDATED: Taiwan accepts fresh potatoes from Colorado

03/26/2013 05:13:00 PM
Tom Karst

(UPDATED WITH VIDEO, March 27) Colorado potato marketers can look to a new country to find fresh potato buyers.

The Taiwan Ministry of Agriculture recently approved Colorado fresh potato imports, and David Tonso, managing partner of Center-based Canon Potato Co., said the work of the Denver-based U.S. Potato Board deserves much credit for opening the market.

“Thanks to the work they have done, we have been able to get Taiwan opened up to fresh market potatoes out of Colorado,” Tonso said March 26.

Relatively tight inventories of the 2012 crop could limit opportunities this year, but he predicted more interest in Taiwan next season, particularly for shippers already exporting fresh potatoes.

The overall volume of potatoes from Colorado this season is expected to decline by the end of May, with some shippers extend fresh shipments until the first of August, Tonso said.

Others who contributed to the opening of the Taiwan market, industry leaders said, included the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, the National Potato Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Foreign Agricultural Service, and Seattle-based Bryant Christie Inc.

“We’ve been working on Colorado to get in (to Taiwan) for four or five years,” said John Toaspern, vice president for international marketing for the U.S. Potato Board. Taiwan as opened its market to U.S. potato exports on a state by state basis, Toaspern said.

The market for U.S. fresh tablestock and chipping potatoes in Taiwan in the most recent year is about 10,600 metric tons, valued at $5.1 million, Toaspern said.



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